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North of Boston/Merrimack Valley offers plenty of rich shellfish beds for vacation fun

Town of Ipswich, 25 Green Street Ipswich, MA, 01938 Phone: 978-356-6600

Ispwich residents may purchase a shellfishing permit for $30 a calendar year. Massachusetts residents who do not live in Ipswich may purchase a permit for $150 a calendar year or $20 a day. Out-of-state residents may purchase a one-day permit for $20 if they name in the permit application the name and permit number of an Ipswich licensed clammer who will accompany them and if they are accompanied by the sponsoring clammer on the day specified on the permit. 

Gloucester City Clerk, City Hall, 9 Dale Avenue Gloucester, MA Phone: 978-281-9720

All shellfishing permits are issued by the City Clerk's office at City Hall. Call or click for hours.
Fees: Annual non-resident fee for clams and seaworms is $200. One-day fee for clams and seaworms is $25. All permits expire June 30 of each year.
Contact Information: The Shellfish Department hotline is 978-281- 9741. Shellfish constable is Dave Sargent. Email: http://gloucester-ma.gov/forms.aspx?FID=41

6 Plum Island Turnpike Newburyport, MA, 01950 Phone: 978-465-5753

Fishers must have a valid Refuge Use Permit for shellfishing on clam flats that can be reached from the refuge. To qualify for a refuge permit, you must have a commercial or recreational clamming license from the towns of Newbury, Rowley, or Ipswich. Refuge permits must be applied for in person and are available year-round from refuge headquarters during normal business hours and from the refuge entrance gatehouse on Sunset Drive. Permits are valid through the end of the calendar of the year of issuance
Fees: Refuge shellfishing permits are issued free of charge, but there is a daily entrance fee of $5 per vehicle at the Plum Island area. Annual entrance passes are available
Hours: Shellfishing is allowed sunrise to sunset. The Plum Island portion of the refuge is closed when the parking lot is full. Access to refuge shellfishing areas may be prohibited due to factors like public health concerns. This information is available by calling 978-356-6671.
Parking: Access from the refuge to all flats is from designated parking areas and by foot only. Parking for shellfishing is permitted in designated lots only and is on a first come-first served basis. These lots are at refuge subheadquarters and maintenance area in Newbury, Nelson Island and Hellcat/lot 4 in Rowley, lot 6 and three reserved clamming lots in Ipswich. All vehicles must display a valid refuge decal (issued with the refuge permit).